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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Busy boxes

I know I have been promising a  "Siblings" post for forever.  This was originally going to be apart of it but I thought I would separate it for a quicker reference.  Here are 10 starter boxes.  I am sure I will add to this as I think of/remember more.  

I know nursing/feeding can be extremely time consuming. I don't think I realized this until I had a second child and I had a 17M old at my feet.  When you have one child you're thinking..."I love these special feeding times with my baby" when you have two children you're thinking... "Hurry up and finish the bottle already!"  :-D  All kidding aside, a newborn baby that needs constant attention can be very stressful on everybody.  It is a HUGE transition.  I hope that these ideas make that transition go a little smoother for you.  They are also great for when you have to prepare a meal or God forbid go to the bathroom for five minutes.  :-D  Another great idea is to give them as gifts.  

These are easy to pull out when in a crunch.  I typically feed my newborn in a chair or on the floor next to my older two when presenting something like this.  That way I can still be present to all of them.   

I purchased the bin I am using in all these pictures at Walmart.  The size is 6.2 QT and it costs $2.97.  It also comes with a lid for easy storage.  The brand is sterilite.  

Painted corn and animal bin.  
Painted corn is pictured here but you can throw anything in depending on how "messy" you want it to be.   Sand, epsom salts, aquarium rocks, dyed pasta, dyed rice, etc.  For more ideas check out our Sensory Bin album on Facebook... Click HERE for that.

Glue box.  
A bottle of regular glue and a couple bottles of glitter glue.  A few pieces of paper.  Various objects to glue.  Included here... colored pasta, buttons, googly eyes, sparkly pom poms, and acrylic shapes.  I bought the small containers at the Dollar Tree.  There were five in a pack and they also came with a lid.  

Play-Doh box.  
Colored matchsticks, clay hammer, cut-outs, straws, and a few tools.  You could also add little animals to this one as well.  

Cutting box.

Mardi gras beads, ribbon, string, straws, and scissors.  

Sticker box.
Stickers and paper

Rubbing plate box
Rubbing plates, paper, and crayons.

Bingo box
Paint dabbers and paper

Lacing box
Piper cleaners and pony beads

Sorting box.
Various objects in jar to sort into containers.

Stamping box
Ink pad, stamps, and paper

Watercolor bin
Watercolor paints, paint brush, little jar of water, and paper.  

I SPY bin

Colored rice, ice cube tray used to match hidden pieces, teaspoons for digging, and various objects.  



  1. These are great! When I was nursing my daughter (second child), I often used books with CDs for my three year old son during feedings. Just another idea...for moms going through that tough time

  2. Thank you for continuing to post whille you have your hands full with lovely littles! I really like the idea of the busy boxes. I think I will have to work on something like this for my son. Maybe for his 2nd birthday this spring :)

  3. SO Needed for me. Nursing #2 now! Thank you for all the inspiration. You all are amazing!

  4. Great ideas! The small containers you bought remind me of the baby food containers I have been saving. Rectangle, plastic, with a lid too. Another way to repurpose. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. I wish I had seen these before my last kiddo, now 2. These are great ideas. I'm thinking of making them for instant ready fun

    Veronica @ http://watchmeplaynlearn.blogspot.com/

  6. My baby is due in Feb, and I made versions of these today. The kids were so excited. I explained how they would work once the baby came. They are looking forward to their special bins once the baby comes

  7. Love love love these ideas and this concept; It's very similar to the "activity bags" I have made (here's my post about that: http://www.intrepidmurmurings.com/2010/03/toddler_and_preschooler_activity_bag/) and there are some great sites for lots more activity bag ideas if you google that phrase. The bags make it easier to store a bunch in a smaller space (I used a tub next to my chair to hand to my toddler when I was nursing my twins) but I love the organization and stackability of the tubs!!! I have got to get myself and my activities and materials more organized. You are an inspiration!

    P.S., we got a light box for Christmas! Can't wait to try out all your fabulous light box play and art ideas, as well.

  8. What cool ideas. Where do you keep all your boxes? For the containers in your gluing box you could also use the plastic containers that baby food comes in.

  9. WONDERFUL!!!!!! I've been looking for something like this for our homeschool. . .needed for when I'm teaching my older children but I need my 4 year old to sit quietly. Yay!!!!!!! thanks!

  10. I love this idea and shared it with my readers. I used one photo and linked back to you. If this is not okay, please let me know. I'll remove the photo.

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips for moms and children. Love your site.

  11. So happy to be visiting your site via a link on FAR Above Rubies today...LOVE these ideas! I have lots of Littles who will enjoy them, as well! THANKS!

  12. Stumbled upon your site today from Far Above Rubies link.....I LOVE THESE BUSY BOXES!! This is a wonderful idea! My little one is still a bit small for this, but all the better - it gives me time to get them made up before she gets much bigger. I'll be ready!! haha!! Thanks so much for the great idea!

  13. Your site is just the boost I needed. Thank you for sharing~

    p.s. visiting from Far Above Rubies

  14. GREAT ideas!! I shared this post on my blog fan page www.facebook.com/fishstickandkidsense

    I loved it, and I think our fans will, too. :D

  15. Just a question on how you use some of the boxes. Do you have your children keep everything IN the box or do they take stuff like the paint out to use it and then return it to the box? Also, how do you keep the colored rice (for example) from getting all over the house if your kids are using these boxes unattended?

  16. just made some busy boxes....nursing my second...these are awesome!! My DD spent 30 minutes on the sorting/lacing box...combined a few ideas above..Thanks for the idea!

  17. This is so great. I am just now getting around to peaking about your site. You guys really have some great ideas. I have so many plans for these boxes.

  18. Thank you so much for every post! I was in crisis mode and your ideas have helped me shape an entirely new idea of play in our house. My kids are both older but are still having a great time with all the ideas I've pulled. Thank you so much for helping me to enjoy playing again.

  19. I made quite a few of these for when my 2nd was born and again later when my 3rd was born. I also made a bunch of file folder games, which were also a huge hit and doubled as a good way to keep the kids busy during church/appointments. Im due with our 4th soon and I need to bring the old bags (I use bags not boxes since it takes less room and we live in a tiny house) out and see what we still have and what I need to remake.

  20. That's a good storage item. For me, I use box files for that purpose too.

  21. I love these. I would love to see more about how you store all of this. I'm moving to a small apartment and trying to plan how to store things in a limited space.


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